Patio Gardening

Greenery makes me very calm and happy. I guess that’s why I love where I live. Having trees and shrubs is good but growing your own culinary herbs and spices is even better.

One herb that I use extensively is mint.  I use it in mixed drinks, soft drinks, salads, cooking and baking. The freshness of mint is always welcome.

There are so many different kinds of mint that can be used for savory and sweet concoctions.

I have planted chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint and 3 different kinds of basil in my patio garden. I also have lemon balm which is wonderful to rub on the skin to keep away mosquitoes.

All mint plants will tend to take over any space that they are planted in which is why I have chosen the patio for this project. I get a hearty harvest to dry and use fresh without having the plants spread like weeds.

It’s a pretty smart way to go. You can plant cucumbers this way as well as other vine plants. They love the warmth of the cement in the summer. Just remember to keep them well watered.

Enjoy your summer!

look for future posts on leather work. I have several projects that will be coming up at once so I need the time to do the prep work.

God Bless you!

Hot Breakfast Porridge

As a child I loved Hot, Chocolate Malto meal™. I loved the richness and the chocolate intensity of it because my father always used baking chocolate in the preparation. I still love hot breakfast porridge. The downside to the things that I most love to eat is the weight gain that goes with them and the achy joints.
I have been playing around with “clean” ingredients to achieve some of the same tastes that I experienced as a child.

I have finally created a recipe that follows the clean eating guidelines that I have determined that I need to adhere to if I ever can shed these pounds that must go.

Paleo Breakfast prooage

1 cup Teff

1 cup Quinoa

3 squares baking chocolate

1/4 cup Coconut oil

4 cups Almond Milk

2 cups water

4 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 teaspoon salt (pink)

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Put everything in a sauce pan and boil until thick stirringionally in the beginning and constantly toward the end of the cooking process.

Brunch Time Quiche

Quiche is a pretty easy and tasty menu item. For this particular meal I have made a Greek style pie using feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach and mushroom  chicken sausage.

20161223_184856

1 Pie crust, 8 eggs scrambled, 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic,  2/3 cup Feta Cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 cup chopped spinach, 2/3 cup Greek style plain yogurt, 1 med onion chopped finely, 2 mushroom chicken sausages cut up, fresh asparagus, and salt and pepper.

Beat eggs spices and yogurt until smooth, add veges and sausage then pour into an unbaked pie crust. sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and arrange asparagus on top. break 1 egg over the top at the bottom of the asparagus  and bake until knife comes out clean.

 

Enjoy!

Tasty Crispy Treat Recipes

As promised, here are the recipes for the crispy treats that I used in my grandson’s birthday cake.

Peppermint treats:

1 bag mini marshmallows, 1 stick butter, 15 drops peppermint essential oil, 1 large box Crispy rice cereal.

In a large pan melt butter, marshmallows and oil until all of the marshmallows are melted, add the cereal and mix well. pour into 2 9×13 greased pans. I use non stick cooking spray. let cool then cut and serve.

20170101_071044

Orange Spice Crispy Treats:

1 bag mini marshmallows, 1 stick butter, 15 drops tangerine essential oil,  6 drops clove oil and 10 drops cinnamon oil, 1 large box Crispy rice cereal. I used 4 drops green food coloring for the sake of the cake but it isn’t necessary.

In a large pan melt butter, marshmallows and oil until all of the marshmallows are melted, add the cereal and mix well. pour into 2 9×13 greased pans and while still warm, sprinkle with cinnamon imperials.  I use non stick cooking spray. let cool then cut and serve.

20170101_071057

Almond Joy Crispy Treats:

4 oz coconut oil, 1 bag mini marshmallows, 8 oz flaked coconut, 15 drops almond extract, 8oz semi sweet chocolate chips, 1 large box Crispy rice cereal, and 2/3 cup slivered almonds.

In a large pan melt coconut oil, marshmallows, almond extract and chocolate chips until all of the marshmallows are melted, add the cereal and mix well. pour into 2 9×13 greased pans and while still warm, sprinkle with slivered almonds.  I use non stick cooking spray. let cool then cut and serve.

Crispy Treat Birthday cake

What child doesn’t like crispy treats?

Personally, I love them but not the bland run of the mill treats. That being said, I have created some crispy treat recipes that are a hit with both kids and adults.

Here is the “cake ” that I made for my grandson. His birthday is Dec 26th so I always try to make his birthday very special. It’s not so fun when your birthday gets lumped in with Christmas.

So much fun. Stay tuned for the recipes.

20170111_153929

 

 

 

Artisan Bread and Flavor Infused Butters

Bread and butter are staples of life but they can be a winning duo for the buffet table.

Using artisan breads raises the bar a little more than using prepackaged run of the mill bread. The cost is not that much more and the taste is far superior. Step up the game one more notch and add flavored butters to the mix.  Now you have memorable food.

For this event I bought the bread from a local bakery that uses organic ingredients and non GMO wheat.

I have shown three different flavors of butter for you to feast your eyes on. They are not only tasty, they are also beautiful.

 

20141025_192252

20141025_192259

To make the butter, you will need to soften the butter to room temperature and chop the ingredients up fairly finely.

You will also need an electric mixer.

All of these butters are to taste. For my taste I use 1 pound of butter to 1/2 cup of each of the flavors I use with the exception of the citrus. If you are using citrus, zest the peal and use 1 TBSP of zest per pound of butter.

From top to bottom:

Cilantro, lime butter,/Greek olive, garlic butter ,/roasted pepper and sun dried tomato butter.

I always add about a 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt to a pound of butter. The flavor is better.

Choose the flavors that suit you and your guests.

Here are the recipes for the butters shown.

Cilantro/lime butter: 1 pound butter softened, 1 tablespoon lime zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves finely chopped.

Greek olive/ garlic butter: 1 pound butter softened, 1/2 cup Greek olives finely chopped and drained until dry, 1 tablespoon fresh garlic chopped finely.

Roasted pepper and sun dried tomato butter: 1 pound butter softened, 1/4 cup roasted pepper patted dry and chopped finely, 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped finely and patted dry, 1/2 teaspoon pink salt.

Mix the softened butter with the flavors you choose and either put the butter in a form or simply wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard.  Be mindful of the the way you present the bread and butter. The presentation should look as good as the food tastes.

Have fun!

Edible Centerpiece

With Spring approaching and special events season beginning, thoughts begin to enter into our minds as to how the event is going to be organized and executed.

In this series of posts I will be sharing with you some of the things that I have done with weddings.

This post will focus on the center piece of the food table, All of the things I will be showing you will be very easy to do.  The cost of event planning is sky rocketing so whatever you can do yourself helps to keep the cost under control.

Here are two fruit toppers that I use a lot they sit on top of a fruit tower generally three tiers high.

 

20141026_15230320141026_152710

20141026_152258

You can see the different layers of fruit on the tower. It is all done with trays and cake stands.  I have used bamboo platters and glass cake plates for this tower.  As you can see, I layer everything when it comes to food presentation. Your food should look as appealing as possible because the first part of your guest loving your food is the way they perceive the food will taste.

The fruit dip that you see at the bottom of the tower is nothing more than plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon organic,raw honey, and fresh strawberries whipped up in the food processor.

This tower not only brings taste and freshness to the table but also color.

In the back ground you see filo bites which I will delve into in future posts.